Here at Slick Chicks we believe our ambassadors are the forefront of our success. Our ambassadors are chosen based on their impactful missions to help better society and better themselves in the process. Our ambassadors are dedicated to their communities and for that (and more) we are proud to have them as the main representatives of our brand.
Ashley Harseim is a social media influencer and strong advocate for chronic illness representation. Ashley has spent significant time in hospitals ever since she was little, and it wasn't until recently that she began sharing her experiences online (and we are so glad she did!). Below, Ashley gives us insight into how she keeps from getting overwhelmed, her relationship with social media, and why representation is so important to her.
How do you spiritually prepare yourself for each day? Do you have a mantra or meditation you do if things ever become overwhelming?
I wouldn’t say I spiritually start my day in a sense of looking at a higher power. I do however try to remember that I’m here, I’m alive, and it could be worse.
When I’m feeling really down or things get just a little too overwhelming, I like to draw. A lot of times I’ll fill the walls of my hospital rooms with drawings I've done while sitting there. I always sign them and leave them behind.
How do you empower yourself?
It’s hard to feel empowered when your body is what’s taking away most of, if not all of your power. It’s really helpful for me to share my experiences online and have other people relate. It’s really hard to get it until you’ve lived it.
How do you process and deal with any critics you may have?
I’ve always been a bit… haha no, very outspoken, so I know what it’s like to have haters. It sounds cliché but I really just try not to let what people say bother me.
Who would you say is your biggest supporter?
I don’t want this to sound silly but I feel like my biggest supporter is myself.
For any person dealing with chronic illness(es) we are constantly having to advocate for ourselves in all types of scenarios. Nobody is fighting myself as hard as I am. I refuse to live a life not full of joy. I always say that there is no way I was out here to suffer.
Where does your overall determination come from?
My drive comes from the need to want to feel better one day and help others do the same.
What is your relationship with social media?
Why did you choose to begin sharing your experiences with chronic illness on social media?
Social media has become such a huge outlet for me. Especially Instagram. I share a lot on my stories, posts, and reels on what it’s like living with the conditions I have. I started to share my journey about being sick when I got my first big official diagnosis of gastroparesis. People had been commenting on my body and how good they thought I looked after losing weight, but in reality I was dying. I needed people to know this wasn’t a healthy thing.
Why does representation matter for you?
Now that I have a feeding tube as well as using mobility devices at times, my illness is not so invisible. I am constantly trying to get more people that look like me out there. I proudly wear my tube out in crop tops. I allow people to stare. I want to look at a magazine and see people who look like me.
What do you love about Slick Chicks?
I love Slick Chicks for representing all bodies that need the simplest of things, underwear. I also love that the items give me autonomy back. I can put the underwear on by myself when I’m sitting down. Autonomy is something that has been taken away from me a lot while being sick. I also love that Slick Chicks shows disabled bodies in undergarments in sensual ways. Letting people know that disabled bodies are still sexy.
You can follow along with Ashley and her empowering advocacy work, stylish fits, and daily life on Instagram